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Drug Store Frustrations

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I drove to the drug store to pick up my prenatal vitamin refill on December 1st. I hoped to pick it up on November 30th, the last day before my health insurance renewed, but the idiotic pharmacy failed to fill it on time. They claimed this particular vitamin was out of stock when I called to see if it was ready. For the record, I placed the refill order on November 20th to ensure this kind of thing wouldn’t happen, but somehow the pharmacy still failed me. They claimed the problem occurred because of the Thanksgiving holiday, but they clearly had plenty of time to place the order before the holiday began.

I am partly to blame for this failure. I should have followed up a day or so before the 30th. I assumed ten days would give them plenty of time to complete the refill, obviously I was wrong.

The pharmacy’s delay would have cost me an additional $50. I say would have cost me, because I declined the prescription. I plan to call the doctor’s office on Monday to ask for a cheaper option, because paying $75 for a vitamin seems slightly insane.

If I can’t find a cheaper alternative I plan to investigate vitamins that can be purchased without prescription. My current vitamin includes DHA, which is a bit more expensive then the standard form, but over the counter vitamins don’t cost nearly that much. The question is whether or not they contain similar quantities of the nutrients I need. If they do then I’m happy to pay the $25 over the counter cost, rather than a $75 prescription markup.

Luckily it’s not all doom and gloom. On the bright side I used the Rite Aid UP Rewards from the previous prescription refill to purchase a bunch of items for free on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I bought hair ties, q-tips and other personal and household supplies that we actually needed. Each of these purchases kicked out another UP Reward, which means I still have another $25 to spend at the drug store. Diapers are on sale again tomorrow, so I might buy a few more packs to add to my stockpile. Between a few printable coupons and the drugstore rewards program I should be able to purchase another four packs for free.

This doesn’t exactly make up for the $50 difference in prescription costs this month, but it’s better than nothing.

Photo Credit

Hp

Sunday 7th of December 2014

I use the Target or Walmart dha supplements. They have slightly less DHA than prescription but same everything else. If you have folic acid absorption issues, they may not be for you (some prenatals have a different form of folate). You can also ask for the low cost prescription prenatal w/o DHA and buy the DHA separately OTC. Or ask your dr for samples. My insurance was going to be $50/month OOP for prenatals but my dr gave me samples to start with.

One Frugal Girl

Thursday 11th of December 2014

I asked the doctor for samples at my last visit. I was so excited to walk out with six packs, but it turns out each one only had three days worth of vitamins inside of it. Still getting 18 days worth of vitamins for free is better than nothing! My frequency of visits will increase next month, so maybe I can just ask each time I need to see the doctor.

Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom

Sunday 7th of December 2014

I'm not sure if you have special needs for your particular pregnancy. I used over the counter and they seemed to work well enough for me (I've never passed an iron test with flying colorus like I did on prenatals).

I think mine were $20, but would go on buy one get one 50% off at least every couple months, plus there were coupons. I don't think mine had DHA in it, we bought the fancy eggs and such when I was pregnant though.

One Frugal Girl

Thursday 11th of December 2014

Unfortunately the over the counter brand wasn't exactly comparable, so I'll need to ask my doctor if it matters. I don't have any special needs that I know of, so it might not make a difference in any aspect other than how much I pay!

jen

Sunday 7th of December 2014

I am new to your blog, dont know where you are located, but Walmart offered $4 prenatels and Meijer gave them for free (at least during my last pregnancy) :) My doctor had prescribed a brand that was going to cost me $60 out of pocket! When I checked with her, she said they were all comparable and changed my script.

One Frugal Girl

Thursday 11th of December 2014

Thanks for the suggestion. I plan to ask at my next doctor's visit!